England Rugby has confirmed it has awarded 32 Red Roses contracts, offering three-year deals of varying length, as the world’s number one-ranked team target a sixth successive Guinness Women’s Six Nations title.
John Mitchell and his coaching team, including Sarah Hunter, have selected players in collaboration with the Rugby Players’ Association and player representatives.
The landmark extended contracts will cover salaries, match fees and 2025 World Cup arrangements as well as commercial and community engagement initiatives until 2026.
Head of Women’s Performance, Charlie Hayter said: “We are pleased to confirm the players offered contracts who will form the Red Roses contracted player squad for the 2023/24 season.
“This is a hugely exciting time for the Red Roses, especially with our home World Cup on the horizon in 2025.
“However, we know there is a lot of work to do before then, and we are excited to bring the group together shortly to start preparations for WXV which will be the immediate focus for us all.”
Vickii Cornborough and Abbie Ward are among the 32 players and their contracts will span across their maternity leave, expected to be taken shortly.
Two additional contracts will be announced by the end of the year in their absence.
The Roses have built on their 30-player squad from last year which includes six transition contracts for young, aspiring Red Roses to support their early careers.
Lightning’s Sadia Kabeya has been offered a deal for the first time after impressing on the world stage this season at flanker and seasoned rugby 7s captain Megan Jones is also in the fold.
Red Roses mainstays Emily Scarratt, Jess Breach, Hannah Botterman, Poppy Cleall and captain Marlie Packer, who led England to a Grand Slam against France at Twickenham in front of a world record crowd in April, have all been named in the landmark announcement.
Premier 15s champions Gloucester Hartpury have a six-player contingent in the Roses set up while fellow finalist and Exeter Chief Claudia Macdonald has also been named.
And 19-year-old Katie Buchanan, who had an exciting season with Chiefs, is among those who have been awarded a transition contract.
2023/2024 is expected to be another trailblazing year for the Roses as they continue to dominate internationally.
Red Roses prop Sarah Bern, added: “The new contracts are a really great development for us as a playing group and I was pleased to be able to represent the Red Roses in the discussions for these new arrangements.
“It’s a reflection of how far things have moved on in the women’s game and will support us as professional athletes as we work towards the World Cup.”
Holly Aitchison (Bristol Bears)
Zoe Aldcroft (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Sarah Beckett (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Sarah Bern (Bristol Bears)
Hannah Botterman (Bristol Bears)
Jess Breach (Saracens)
Mackenzie Carson (TBC)
Poppy Cleall (Saracens)
Kelsey Clifford (Saracens)
Amy Cokayne (Leicester Tigers)
Vickii Cornborough (Harlequins)
Lark Davies (Bristol Bears)
Abby Dow (Ealing Trailfinders)
Rosie Galligan (Saracens)
Zoe Harrison (Saracens)
Tatyana Heard (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Megan Jones (Leicester Tigers)
Sadia Kabeya (Loughborough)
Ellie Kildunne (Harlequins)
Alex Matthews (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Claudia MacDonald (Exeter)
Maud Muir (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Cath O’Donnell (Loughborough)
Morwenna Talling (Sale Sharks)
Lucy Packer (Harlequins)
Marlie Packer (Saracens)
Connie Powell (Harlequins)
Amber Reed (Bristol Bears)
Helena Rowland (Loughborough)
Emily Scarratt (Loughborough)
Emma Sing (Gloucester-Hartpury)
Abbie Ward (Bristol Bears)
Transition Contracted Players
Maisy Allen (Exeter)
Grace Clifford (Loughborough)
Katie Buchanan (Exeter)
Lizzie Duffy (Sale Sharks)
Lilli Ives Campion (Loughborough)
Nancy McGillivary (Exeter)